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SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
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Compiled by JS LOWTHER
(continuation from: A Community of Election and Order)
Church and State and the Function of the Sanctuary
Honor (value) thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which YHWH thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head,
and honor the face of the old man/ Presbyter (πρεσβυτερων),
and fear thy God: I am YHWH.
(G4245 Presbyter: (elderly); older, old one)
Let’s start with a look at an example of the job of an Overseer in how a man was numbered and how that system will interact with Church and state and the Federal apparatus, the Sanctuary :
Exo_30:12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number/overseeingG1984 , then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.
ABP… there shall not be among them a failureG4431 in the overseeingG1984 of them.
(This may be hard to understand from our modern perspective, but the failiour of Biblical Lawful Church Government by Headship is a plague to the Israelite family and Nation. but to the modern Christian so-called this is a form of liberty, this freedom from Family is like any form of sickness we self impose by a poor life style, over eating, lack of exercise or whatever it is a self imposed plague, as serious as one who has lost his head.)
Exo_30:12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number/overseeingG1984 , then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou oversee them; that there shall not be among them a failureG4431 in the overseeingG1984 of them.
Exo 30:13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.
Exo 30:14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
Exo_30:15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
Exo 30:16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
We see here how the age of accountability for war is also that of the age of redemption, and we see how the oversight of the ruling elder offers a representation in monetary silver of a weight / shekel set by the (federal) Sanctuary of a determined weight to be understood as 20 gerahs by the People.
Here we see again an example of the distinction and unity of the ‘Church with the State’.
Now what needs to be clarified in that concept is that where the Church resides as we have prior spoken of it, that is that the Church is the institution of Faith that is produced on the individual level, which Elects able men of truth to the Headship position ordained by Elder men of the presbytery, and those Overseers working with the Overseers of the Tabernacle in regulation of the State, that is the Common people or the general congregation or synagogue, the state, that is every man from 20 years old and up ward is a member of the state, and the redemption money is a pledge to the family and the Sanctuary of their number being among the whole.
We often think of Church and State from the anachronistic American modern way, that is the church is a religious institution and the State is not, this true, but not in the way the Government of Biblical Israel is run.
Every Head of State in Israel was, is and will be required by YHWH God’s Law to be a member of the Called-Out Church- one who has faith in Jesus Christ the messiah, and one who believes in the Word of God, particularly the Law of God, and His Covenants, as well as the whole testimony of Scripture must be believed – as we would now say the Old and the New Testaments. The State, if it is in reference to non-religious affairs of Government is non-existent in the Christian model as it is derived from scripture and as it has historically been linked to a Presbyterian or Episcopate form of Government as it is in the West, no such model has ever existed in Europe, no not even in pagan antiquity when the name of Christ was unknown.
The state apparatus as it exists in which ever structure a people hold in a variation to that which a Nation devoted to scripture will produce, has no power to govern the church/ the called out of Christ, Christ calls those who are the Church by Faith, and any state, that is the standing people in authority cannot do this! The state’s members may preach the Law and the Gospel as the State must of law be made up of the Church, but that apparatus of Government that is formed CAN NOT Acknowledge any individual as a member of the Church, or make one a member of the body of Christ. Because that power is reserved to the workings Grace, moving through Faith upon a heart mind and soul.
Case and point: A man is to volunteer himself for the service of his people,
” they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou oversee them; that there shall not be among them a failureG4431 in the overseeingG1984 of them.”
This is a voluntary sum of the children of Israel after their number of the half shekel. While it is undoubtedly a sum commanded and required of the soul of a man by the commandment of God, the soul of this man from 20 years old and above gives freely, and we know this because of the language of 20 years old and above, showing us that this atonement and redemption money was not paid by force of law by the state, there was no 20th birthday requirement that on the day of one’s birth at 20yrs an Israelite man would be at the door of the tabernacle waiting to fulfill his duty, rather the law states and above, thereby showing that the gift of a 20 year old man should have a limited minimum age of 20 but an unlimited age after 20, whereby situation, circumstance and importantly conviction of the soul seeking an identification with the national covenant of worship under YHWH God of Israel has happened of one’s own conscience and conviction and not of force of principal or of the rule of law, but of Faith as we have seen in the examples of Godly men throughout the history of God’s Covenant people.
I think we have laid down the first level of government that the Epi-Scope or Overseers have charge of in their respective Numbering, as Head Judge and Overseer of his unit:
1. Judgment and 2. Warfare
His responsibility in Judgment I think we have covered pretty well, that is that the Overseer’s job was one as judge primarily, however with in this systematic working of God’s law the bridge that spans the Judgment of the Head of a unite as a Head of State in fact, from 10, to the Prince of 1000’s is the Overseers function in worship as it interacts with the Sanctuary and the priesthood.
In order for a Overseeing judge’s judgment to flow into his family and worship, which is connected in a systematic order, with in the kindred he is part of, and the tribal inheritance he possesses as a member in in his respective tribe and in respect to the physical inheritance of land he will posses, this man’s Judgment as it is supported by but not subjugated to the Presbytery is to move in succoring peace for those who he numbers, and among that peace is the administration of worship for the Family unit he is God ordained over.
This peace is measured is certain lawful standards, Civil interactions with a focus upon Law and Order, which is to be applied culturally and appealed to at law by Judgment according to the word of God.
In terms of Worship seated right beside judgment, this Elder man as judge has a joint responsibility before God and the Nation to bring forth his people to a standard of holiness or sanctification as it is established by the Rule of Law according to the directives of God in supporting the Priesthood, Tabernacle or Temple which we will properly identify as the ‘Sanctuary’ hereafter, as we can consistently speak of that which is Sanctified before God as the ministration of this Sanctuary. Their responsibility to the nation is a of focus purity or holiness.
As ministers of the Word of God in the Natural revelation and in the Spoken and written revelation the Tribe of Levi was to be the chief in teaching Israel God’s Law and God’s judgments thereby. And within that Sanctuary ministry before YHWH God and directed towards the people as a whole, from the least to the greatest, from the orphan child to the Head of 1000’s this ministry was to be done faithfully and therefore those Levites who occupied the Headship in the Sanctuary, in their own numbering must like every other tribe of Israel be made up of the Church, the called out, those who hear the call of God’s Word by Faith as it comes by Grace, they must be true believers in Christ the true atonements higher than any atonement they offer by the word of God in the Sanctuary system or at the Altar.
It is important to remember a prior principal that we have derived from the life of Aaron and in the incident of the Golden Calf in Ex 34, that worship and Government the combination thereof in never to be comprised of an autonomous desire, a democratic desire, or a production of happenstance and conjecture, but that this sphere of life is to be derived and relegated from the Word of God.
And the Word of God spoken by the Nature witnesses to an order ordained by God, and the revelation of the Word of God in the Law of Moses and the Grace and truth of Jesus Christ teaches us how to understand that that Natural order.
Let me offer two examples that we can attach to this subject of Church Government that we shall focus on today, Money and Time.
It is not by conjecture of happenstance we accept paper money as lawful money, no this is a national sin, and we do not adopt this as lawful money, wherein we think we will use paper money, electric money or any other credit instrument in the kingdom Government, but rather we know we are to have our standards of money in Gold, Silver, Brass and Copper according to a weight established by the Sanctuary, that is a ‘holy standard’ a ‘shekel of the sanctuary’ or literally a ‘weight of holiness’ or a ‘holy weight’ as we see expressed stated time and again in God’s law.
It is natural witness that first offers us gold silver and copper as precious metals, and then God speaks of them as precious in his Law, and then in the Sanctuary value is set upon them and legislated as a standard which is enforced by just weights and measures Deu_25:15 among the people of the Nation, from the least to the greatest. Exo_25:3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and Copper (Brass)
So it is not that simply we simple have a natural situation that ‘people use’ precious metal, but that God speaks of it as precious, God regulates it’s use by his reveled Law, and God then leaves fine particulars to be regulated according to this standard.
This is Money, and it’s use in the Government of the Nation of Israel, as the Levites in the Sanctuary have an essential part to play insomuch as they are the authority in setting a standard by the Law, but not to create the law. And the Heads of State must submit to this decision so long as it is lawfully being executed by the Sanctuary.
And in like manner and in a more recognizable way, we also see the Sanctuaries function in use of Holidays which also will interact with the Peoples worship and Government.
In Deu_16:1-2 as well in Exo_23:1 where the agricultural necessity is weighed into the matter of worship, we are told about namely this:
Deu_16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
Deu 16:17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.
And In Lev_23:1-4 these 3 times are seated firmly upon the Sabbath as Holy Convocations and Holy Convocations upon the days of the month.
And directly after this commandment for the 3 times of year for the Males to appear, we see this conjoined aspect of this gathering of the males:
Deu 16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.
It is for the case of verse 18 we shall lay forth this function of the males to be gathered to the central and National feast conformable to the Agriculture of the homeland, that is that in part of the people appearing before YHWH and not appearing Empty handed but to offer from their respective agriculture, there was a call for the faithful men to be together in National worship and at this time to offer and give sacrifice and worship, and also to have those feasts as times to “make Judges and Officers”, remember an Officer is a Scribal, or Grammatical Levite, a Levite trained in the Law and paired in accompaniment with a Judge in times of Judgment. And it was at the times surrounding the 3 central yearly feasts of Israel the conventions of the Heads of State would bring forth offering and sacrifice according to the Law, and Levites would carry those offering to the Priests and the Sanctuary would be supplied with the elements of worship by the People as lead by the Heads of particular unites, and when a new Head was confirmed over 10-1000 this was done by him bringing the offering of his people that are in his unit to those above him and to the Sanctuary.
Was this a religious test of a Head of state?
I would say so,But no one should have entertained a Judge to be made of one who did not believe in the Law of God including the Sabbath, New moons and Feasts of the Law.
So again like the intrinsic name of the Shekel or Weight of Holiness Israel was to use, as it was a regulated and legislated naturally precious metal, so is the Holy Day, a just weight and measurement of time as it is intrinsically manifest by the light of heaven and regulated by the Sanctuary.
This is that Holy Worship must be based in Genesis 1:14, Gen 2 primitively, while it interacts and links to Holy worship according to the Law primarily which speaks expressed of it in the 4th commandment and those scriptures which support this Law and Order such as Ex 31:13 and Lev 23 and many others.
It is the Job of the Sanctuary, to set the times of the Sabbaths (Weekly and land), as well as to determine the usage of the New Moon for the division of months and of the Agriculture to understand the year as these Holy days intrinsically, systematically and Lawfully interact one with the other. But the Sanctuary has no ability to create or accept this law of Conjecturer and/or happenstance, or the will of the people as we read of Aaron and the golden calf, it’s government, and it’s worship.
Here is the point before moving into that application of these principles:
The Sanctuary of the holy nation must have a systematic order to understand the natural manifestation of the heavens lights by the revelation of the Law of Moses, as to produce the Holy Convocations, the Holy call to assembly within the gates and at the door of the tabernacle, as to support the worship of the Heads of state together, and the appearing times of the males for conformation to the God ordained purpose of the Sanctuary in aid of Law and Order, in Judgment and Justice, and especially in worship.
The Overseer is overseeing that His unite worships on the Sabbath, New Moon and annual festivals: 1. Primarily by observing those festivities , the Sanctuaries worship with agricultural and monetary tithes and free will offerings.
The Overseer that has numbered his unite has also received of the unite he is Overseeing the offerings, sacrifices and tithes as well as all other lawfully mentioned contributions and supports of the Federal Sanctuary where was the altar, and altar of incents, Holy Place and the Holy of Holies and the Ark and so forth. This place was the Central focus of Israel as a Nation in terms to worship.
But a particular order was arranged by the Law as it interacted with the people to orderly give these things to the Sanctuary.
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